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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

October 10, 2018

Sadly, The Best Possible Outcome

Patricia A. Kelly

The hearing/circus is over, and Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice. That is a good thing. Perhaps most important for American men and women, the principle of innocent until proven guilty has been upheld.


Thank you, Sen. Susan Collins. Judge Kavanaugh, thoroughly vetted before the nomination, and lauded by judicial experts throughout the country, deserves his appointment.


Yes, he is white and privileged, receiving a good upbringing in a family of means and accomplishment. He took full advantage of his gifts, working to achieve second place in his class in high school and first at Yale, while also committing to athletic achievement, not to mention living an exemplary life.


He has shown himself as a Constitionalist, not a political conservative, when making decisions on the bench.


One may not like his rulings, but those who speak of future consequences to the country of his nomination, are speaking more of their own fearfulness than of him, if you look at his history. His rulings derive from standing law and the Constitution, not politics or religion.


It would be more than sad to lose order and structure or our legal system, and that could happen if individual judges, or even panels, ruled based on their own opinions, rather than on precedent, or the Constitution. We must be able to count on a sound and fair legal system to have a just society.


Sadly, the outcome of the Kavanaugh hearing was the same as it would have been had there been no scandalous accusations. That excessive partisanship, rather than principle, affected the outcome of what should have been a fair hearing is a travesty. People elected to serve our nation should be ashamed. Let’s remember this every time we vote, and let’s vote every time.


Here’s my best guess at what happened, giving the benefit of the doubt to all participants, from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, to Judge Kavanaugh, to politicians.


Dr. Ford believed she had been sexually assaulted in the distant past. She identified her attacker as Brett Kavanaugh. Given Judge Kavanaugh’s life history, this is very unlikely. Perhaps she was assaulted, and, as his renown increased, placed Judge Kavanaugh’s face on her attacker in her mind, a false memory. She believes this but demonstrates a history of anxiety and emotional distress that could well have interfered with her memory.


What Dr. Ford wanted, and asked for, was that a confidential report be placed in Judge Kavanaugh’s file before he was nominated, thus quietly assuring he wouldn’t be chosen from the very impressive short list of candidates.


Hindered possibly by her anxiety, she did not get her message delivered in time to stop the nomination. Sen. Diane Feinstein (D., CA) held her letter, almost certainly discussing it with senior, anti-Kavanaugh colleagues. Their decision was to hold it until they saw how the hearing went.


It went “not” very well, so they unleashed it publicly in a last-minute attempt to delay confirmation until after mid-term elections, hoping that it would be re-addressed in January to a newly elected Democrat majority.


Not only did they go public against Dr. Ford’s wishes, they threw her into the public eye, forcing her to testify publicly, and creating a circus of what should have been a hearing.


Both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh were thrown to the wolves, reputations tattered and lives damaged, as the colluding news media fanned the flames of public anger. Dr. Ford wasn’t even told of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee offer to interview her privately, because a public outcry was desired.


That white men felt uncomfortable questioning Dr. Ford is another story. Is categorizing or demonizing “old, white men” any better that belittling women, or people of color, or gay people because of gender, race or sexual predilection? No.  It’s the same.


Create enough chaos and you can get your way.


Unfortunately for his attackers, Judge Kavanaugh chose, rather than withdraw, as have so many, to fight for his name and reputation. Because the president stood by him and stood for the American principle that one is innocent until proven guilty, Judge Kavanaugh, injured but not dead, made it through.


Good for him, and good for us.


Any injured victim, man or woman, should be heard, and required to corroborate their stories in some manner. Women, correctly demanding to be treated as adults equal to men, should not even wish to be relieved of this requirement.


It’s a very sad and happy day in America. I’m reminded of a Facebook post of John Wayne, saying, “What the hell has happened to you people?”


Partisan rancor and biased, flame throwing media, that’s what.

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